In recent years there has been increasing criticism of the use of the Punisher skull by police, army, militia, white supremacist groups, QAnon events, and Sean Hannity on Fox News; even Trump Punisher pins have been popular. And then, during the January 6th Insurrection at the Capitol building in Washington, many Punisher skull insignias were seen. This also followed Black Lives Matter protests and a focus on real and fictional police behaviour, including the use of Punisher imagery by the police.
For the new Punisher series, Frank Castle was reinvented by The Hand, with a new skull logo, nicknamed Devil Skull or Horned Skull, and using knives rather than guns. When announced, writer Jason Aaron said, "So many different groups have tried to appropriate the Punisher's symbol and write their own story of what that symbol means, to match whatever their agenda. But they don't get to define the story of this character. And it's the character of Frank Castle that I'm interested in. His story has always been a dark and twisted tragedy, about a man consumed by war, for better or worse, no matter what sort of shirt he wears. And that's exactly the kind of story we're telling here."
And the Punisher was featured porting a different skull. One that Marvel has also trademarked. So when Molon Labe, a militia group selling weaponry, tried to trademark the real Marvel Punisher skull…
… Marvel objected to the US government, and Molon Labe lost. But in today's Punisher #4, it seems that if Frank Castle is no longer using the Classic Skull, in favour of the new Devil Skull, then someone else will step up.
Ares, looking more and more like the Molon Labe imagery as well. Almost as if Marvel Comics is making some kind of point.
(W) Jason Aaron (A) Paul Azaceta (A/CA) Jesus Saiz
Is the Punisher truly the Fist of the Beast and the predestined High Slayer of the Hand? Or is he nothing more than a prisoner of their lies? And if there's one thing Frank Castle has never been particularly good at being…it's a prisoner.
PARENTAL ADVISORY In Shops: Aug 10, 2022 SRP: $4.99